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Home Articles Ancient Vedic Kingdoms - Malaysia

 

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Malaysia, as with Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Java, Sumatra, Myanmar, represents a civilisation of great warriors, oceans of unlimited wealth, stupendous architecture, noble kings and beautiful queens. Our history of these events co-incide with Buddhism spreading throughout Southeast Asia, its foundations however, and the reason Buddhism was so easily assimilated, was the ancient Vedic culture, a culture which has permeated these islands for tens of thousands of years.

 

The National Geographic describes this Vedic/Buddhist expansion as follows "This was the time of the great Indian expansion, when seafaring merchants fanned out across the Indian Ocean and brought to Southeast Asia a seething ferment of new ideas. From Burma to Indonesia, they established a chain of settlements along the coasts from which they traded for gold, precious stones, perfumes, and spices. The merchants brought with them their religion, Hinduism and Buddhism, their literary language, Sanskrit, their art and technology; and their science and mathematics." Splendors of the Past: Lost Cities of the Ancient World - National Geographic Society. p.186-190).

 

Gangga Negara, Tambralinka, Sri Vijaya and Pan Pan, the earliest kingdoms of Malaysia, their Sanskrit names like Vedic footprints. Langkasuka was another Vedic Kingdom, going back at least 2000 years, its name is the Sanskrit “Langka” meaning “resplendent land” and “Suka” meaning “bliss”. Its first king was Maran Maha Vamsa a Sanskrit name, the Maha meaning “great” the Maran meaning “death” “refuge” “destruction” and Vamsa means “dynasty” a name we see in the two great dynasties of India “Surya Vamsa” and “Chandra Vamsa” the dynasties of the Sun and Moon. The Kings which followed were Maran Maha Budisat, Ganjil Saharjuna, Seri Maha Vamsa, Sehi Maha Indravamsa, and also Queen Raja Puteri, all Vedic/Sanskrit names.

 

According to Malaysian folklore, Langkasuka was located as a west coast kingdom of Malaysia, the predecessor of modern day Kedah. It was a kingdom held by the mysterious Mons, in Burma this same dynasty held the Kingdoms of Ramannadesa, a Sanskrit name meaning "the land ( desa ) of Rama ( Ramanna )" and the Kingdom of Suvarnabhumi, a Sanskrit name meaning "the land ( bhumi ) of gold ( suvarna )”. Today in Malaysia we still find that its language contains numerous Sanskrit words as shown in the tables below.

 

"Indian art had accompanied Indian religion across straits and frontiers into Sri Lanka, Java, Cambodia, Siam, Burma, Tibet, Khotan, Turkestan, Mongolia, China, Korea and Japan. In Asia all roads lead from India.” Will Durant (1885-1981) American historian

 

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Tambralinga is one of the early Kingdoms of Malaysia, dated at least to the 6th century A.D. and continuing up until the 14th century. Its name “tambra” seems to come from the Sanskrit “tamra” meaning “copper” “red" and "linga" meaning "phallus" it seems to represent the Siva Linga.

 

Tambralinga encompassed twelve cities which formed around and protected its capital Nagara Sri Dhamaraj. A Sanskrit name the “Nagara” means “city” the “Dharma” means “righteous” and the “Raj” means “king” as in the “dharma of righteous kings”. These twelve interlinked cities were known as Naksat, from the Sanskrit Naksatra meaning “constellations” the “Na” meaning “water” and the “Ksatra” meaning “to govern” as in “the constellations which govern the cosmic waters” and this was their purpose, being prone to invasion from the sea, they formed a chain of interlinking cities which gave protection and centred around its capital Nagara Sri Dhamaraj of which the other cities would pay tribute. As with the Naksatras of the Vedas each Naksat city was related to a particular animal as in city of "Kedah" whose symbol was a "Dragon".

 

The twelve cities were most probably Sanskrit names though most are vague and difficult to translate. As previously mentioned its capital was “Nagara Sri Dhamaraj” Sanskrit for the “dharma of righteous kings”. A second province is “Narathiwat” which is the Sanskrit “Naradhivat” meaning “the residence ( adhivat ) of wise people ( nara )”. Archeological evidence shows that “Kedah" was a Hindu/Buddhist Kingdom some 2000 years ago ruled most probably by the Cholas of Tamil and known as “Kadaram” “Kataha Nagara” “Kataha Dvipa” all Sanskrit names which was eventually shortened to “Kedah”. The lost city of "Kota Gelanggi" is said to have been one of the first of the Sri Vijaya kingdoms, although "Gelanggi" is obscure, the word "Kota" is Sanskrit meaning "fort" "stronghold". “Kraburi” though once again vague has the Sanskrit suffix “Puri” meaning “city” and “Kanchanadit” “Pattani” and “Pattalung” seem to have Sanskrit origins. The chart below shows how Sanskrit and the Malaysian language are one.

 

“Therefore, the Indianizaton of Burma and, particularly the adoption of art forms connected with Buddhism and Hinduism, was a peaceful and internally motivated process.” Dr. Richard M. Cooler (Prof. Northern Illinios University).

 

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Gangga Negara is an early Malaysian kingdom going back some 2000 years, covering the territories of Beruas, Diding and Manjung. Its name comes from the Indian city of Ganganagara meaning the “city ( nagara ) on the Ganges”. Ganganagara in India was part of the Kamboja dynasty and these same people governed a kind of sister city, the Malaysian Gangga Negara.

 

The Kamboja dynasty of India was a very powerful dynasty, ksatriyas from the ancient Vedic culture, establishing empires throughout the Malaysian archipelago and the Indo/Chinese peninsula. They built their empires along the Mekong river, which was originally known as “Ma Ganga” and held colonies in Funan, Chenla, Champa, Khmer, Angkor, Langkasuka, Sailendra and Srivijaya. In Cambodia they are related to the Khmer dynasty who built the Vedic/Indian temple of Angkor Wat, indeed the very name Cambodia was originally “Kambuja” and most probably reflects this ancient Kamboja dynasty.

 

The Vedic tradition dates the Kamboja dynasty beyond 5000 years ago, their name being mentioned in the Mahabharata and the Manu Samhita and in the ancient Puranas they are mentioned throughout the 10th canto. Historically the Kamboja dynasty are mentioned by Panini which goes back some 2500 years and they are also found in the edicts of Ashoka which are dated around 2300 years ago and so historically the Kambojas are a very ancient dynasty.

 

“They were the masters of their world, it was quite wonderful. There was peace and order, temples full of riches, happy Brahmins full of good rice, good food, and of course some of the most magnificent temples ever built. Nothing in that part of the world would compare. Nothing! That’s quite something, n’est-ce pas? – isn’it”. The Khmer took everything from India, from irrigation to astronomy and including Shiva and the rest of Hindu religion...and the Khmer built Angkor.” ~ Bernard Philippe Groslier ~ the great French conservator and archaeologist ~

 

 

The Ramayana describes the island of Java as “Yava” meaning “barley”, as from above, the island has the shape of a “barley corn” and from this it derives its name. The rulers of Java, going back to at least the 7th century were a Vedic empire known as the Sailendra dynasty. “Sailendra” is a common Indian name the “Saila” being Sanskrit for “mountain” and the “endra” is the Vedic God “Indra” as in “Lord ( Indra ) of the mountains ( Saila )”. Through marital ties the Sailendra dynasty formed an alliance with another Vedic dynasty known as Sri Vijaya.

 

Sumatra was an island known in ancient times as “Suvarnadvipa” a Sanskrit name meaning “the island ( dvipa ) of gold ( suvarna )” the name “Sumatra” is said to have come from the Sanskrit “Samudra” meaning “ocean”. The furthest historians go back is the 7th century when Sumatra was ruled by the Vedic dynasty known as Sri Vijaya, a Sanskrit name, the Sri meaning “wealth” and “Vijaya” meaning “victorious”. The Sri Vijaya dynasty was ruled by a succession of Kings such as - Indravarman - Rudra Vikraman - Dharmasetu - Dharanindra - Samaragravira - Samaratungga - Balaputradeva - Sri Udayadityavarman - Sri Cudamani - Varmadeva - Sumatrabhumi - Sri Deva - Kulotunga Chola - Rajaraja Chola - Srimat Trilokyaraja - Srimat Tribuvanaraja - all obvious Sanskrit/Vedic names representing the ancient Vedic culture they belonged to. In the writings of the Chinese monk I-Tsing who studied in Sri Vijaya in the 7th century "Melayu is now the country of Sri Vijaya".

 

These two islands Sumatra and Java which were ruled by Vedic dynasties known as the Sailendras and Sri Vijaya formed an alliance of city states which spanned from Jaya to Sumatra to the Malaya peninsula, hence their wealth expanded through the tolls they extracted throughout the Indian ocean. The Sri Vijaya dynasty were originally Vedic, being worshippers of Lord Siva and Visnu, some 2000 years ago, through the patronage of King Ashoka, a tidal wave of Buddhism spread from India throughout the Indian ocean and the Indo/Chinese peninsula. This was not the first wave which had left the shores of India, it was simply a wave which was replacing a previous one  -  the ancient Vedic culture.

 

" The greatest of the states was the Sailendra Empire, or the empire of Shri Vijaya, which became the dominant power both on sea and land in the whole of Malaysia by the eighth century. The empire was also a sea power based on trade. Hence you find that it had ports wherever it could get the smallest footing. Indeed a remarkable feature of the settlements of the  Sumatrian State was their strategic value - that is to say, they were carefully located at places where they could command the surrounding seas. Often they were in pairs to help each other in maintaining this command. Thus, Singapore, which is a great city now, was originally a settlement of the Sumatran colonists. The name, as you will notice, is a typical Indian name: Singhpur. The Sumatran people had another settlement just opposite the Straits, facing Singhpur. Sometimes they would stretch an iron chain right across the Strait and so stop all ships from passing till they paid heavy tolls ” "Glimpses of World History" Jawahar Lal Nehru

 

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India and Sri Lanka are culturally one and the same, unified by the ancient Vedic culture, the Tamils of Sri Lanka tracing their roots to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Over 5000 years ago there emerged from this Vedic civilisation a powerful dynasty known as the Cholas. Their Gods were all personalities from the ancient Vedas and as warriors they worshipped Lord Siva as the supreme. Other Gods were Muruga, the son of Lord Siva, known also as Skanda and Kartikeya, the God of war, and also the Gods Indra and Varuna.

 

At their height the Chola dynasty captured parts of Malaysia, Southern Thailand and Indonesia, they excelled in foreign trade and maritime activity, their presence felt throughout China and Southeast Asia. Their influence may be seen in the name of the capital of Malaysia “Kuala Lumpur”. The “Kuala” may be a corruption of “Chola” and the “Pur” may be the Sanskrit “Puri” meaning “city” as in “Cholampuri” the “city of the Cholas”. The actual capital of the Cholas was “Cholapuram” which is quite similar if we look at it as “Kualampuram" its full name being “Gangaikonda Cholapuram”.

 

In the city of Kuala Lumpur we find the township of Cheras, they were very much related to the Cholas, a powerful dynasty who along with the Cholas and the Pandyas ruled the Kingdom of Tamil. The name "Cheras" is also found in the city of Selangor and its generally accepted that these names are related to the Cheras of Tamil Nadu in India. Of course the grey academics take exception to all this explaining how Kuala Lumpur means “Muddy Place”. Next door to Kuala Lumpur is the city of Singapore, the “singa” being the Sanskrit “Simha” meaning “lion" and the “pore” being the Sanskrit “Puri” meaning “city” as in “lion city”. Below are more examples of how the Malaysian language is full of Sanskrit words reflecting how once the ancient Vedic culture was the culture of Malaysia.

 

" The Old Malay system is greatly influenced by Sanskrit scriptures in terms of phonemes, morphemes, vocabulary and the characteristics of scholarship, particularly when the words are closely related to Indian culture such as puja, kesatria, maharaja and raja, as well as on the Hindu-Buddhist religion such as dosa, pahala, neraka, syurga or surga ( used in Indonesia-which was based off of Malay ) puasa, sami and biara, which lasts until today." Wiki

 

"Old Malay ( 6th century to 15th century ) is a formal language that is based heavily on Sanskrit. Various inscriptions were found in South Sumatera by the Tatang River on stone tablets dated between 682 – 689 AD." Author Kathleen Fernandez.

 

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All the months of Malaysia are from the ancient Sanskrit language. The month of Chingam is the Sanskrit “Simha” meaning “lion” as in the star sign Leo. Kanni is the Sanskrit “Kanya” meaning “girl” “maiden” “virgin” as in the star sign Virgo. Tulam is the Sanskrit “Tula” meaning “balance” as in the star sign Libra. Vrishchikam is the Sanskrit “Vrscika” meaning “scorpion” as in the star sign Scorpio. Dhanu is the Sanskrit “Dhanu” meaning “bow” “arc” as in the star sign Sagittarius. Marakam is the Sanskrit “Maraka” meaning “sea monster” as in the star sign Capricorn.

 

We also have the month of Kumbham which is the Sanskrit “Kumbha” meaning “pitcher” “water pot” as in the star sign Aquarius. Meenam is the Sanskrit “Mina” meaning “a kind of fish” as in the star sign Pisces. Medam is the Sanskrit “Mesa” meaning “ram” as in the star sign Aries. Midhunam is the Sanskrit “Mithuna” meaning a “pair” as in the star sign Gemini. Karkidakam is the Sanskrit “Karkata” meaning “crab” as in Cancer. Eleven of the twelve months of the Malaysian calendar which all come from Vedic/Sanskrit.

 

The ancient Vedic influence on Malaysia is huge and this article is only a sample of the information available, there is so much more about mountains such as "Mount Tama Abu” “Mount Bujang Melaka” “Mount Ayama” about rivers such as the “Rajang” “Kelantan” “Kedah” “Baram” “Golok” “Muda” “Sarawak” “Danum” “Damansara” “Jelai” “Segamat” and suburbs and cities such as “Damansara” and “Cheras", information from folk tales and information on the numerous words from the Malaysian language whose source is Sanskrit. Academics as we know are like paid servants of multi national corporations and as we know they love to divide, categorise and create unlimited branches of language and culture, hence the Malaysian language is Austronesian. However, two thousand years ago and beyond, the country of Malaysia was Vedic and its Old Malaysian language was predominantly Sanskrit.

 

"The Vedic literature opens to us a chamber in the education of human race to which we can find no parallel anywhere else. Whoever cares for the historical growth of our language and thought, whoever cares for the first intelligent development of religion and mythology, whoever cares for the first foundation of Science, Astronomy, Metronomy, Grammar and Etymology, whoever cares for the first intimation of the first philosophical thoughts, for the first attempt at regulating family life, village life and state life as founded on religion, ceremonials, traditions and contact must in future pay full attention to the study of Vedic literature."  -  Max Muller  -  India what it can teach us.

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Last Updated (Saturday, 28 October 2017 07:02)

 
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In Srimad-Bhagavatam, Third Canto, Twenty-ninth Chapter, verses 12 and 13, Srila Kapiladeva, while instructing His mother, has given the following characteristics of pure devotional service: "My dear mother, those who are My pure devotees, and who have no desire for material benefit or philosophical speculation, have their minds so much engaged in My service that they are never interested in asking Me for anything—except to be engaged in that service. They do not even beg to live in My abode with Me."

 

There are five kinds of liberation, namely to become one with the Lord, to live with the Supreme Lord on the same planet, to have the same features as the Lord, to enjoy the same opulences as the Lord and to live as a companion of the Lord. A devotee, what to speak of rejecting material sense gratification, does not even want any of the five kinds of liberation. He is satisfied simply by discharging loving service to the Lord. That is the characteristic of pure devotion. (Nectar of Devotion 1, Characteristics of Pure Devotional Service)